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Posted By jdscj8,
Mar 1, 2009 at 9:01 AM
I'd get them to sign a legal document promising not to sue you. Trust me on this one.
Don't let down your guard. Follow through with the charges. They may talk a nice talk but later decide to sue. The criminal convictions would go a long way in your defense in the court of lower standards.
If having possession of a signed letter from them admitting their mistake and apologizing for it doesn't protect you from being sued, charging them sure the heck isn't gona help, especially in the arena of creating goodwill.
Also, asking them to sign some piece of paper promising they won't sue you could backfire on you, it would be a strong piece of evidence that you feel you are somehow at fault for their injuries, and they could use it against you if they ever did decide to sue you. Heck it might be just catalyst to get them thinking they are somehow the victims and you are the perpetrator.
Remember, even bad people have friends, can appreciate kindness and can be nice to people when they want to. The last thing you want to do is make an enemy of a truly bad person who knows where you live. There are worse things they could do to you than sue you.
Of course there is always the chance they aren't really bad people, just stupid. ;-)
I concur with Apprentice and KarlP as well . . . the fact that they apologized and sort of took responsibility for their actions says quite a bit about them -- especially in this day and age where folks seem to be more inclined to blame everyone else but themselves for their actions. In terms of punishment, being injured is one form of punishment . . . I do think they should replace the lock though and give up some of their time and energy into helping you or a charity of your choice. They should learn one way or another however that what they did was wrong . . . as Apprentice said a lesson learned is what it sounds like they need.
Lets the courts decide the punishment. If you let them off easy, they won't learn the lesson.. and they will be more likely to commit a similar act in the future....probably not to you, but one of your neighbors. I realize they they got hurt, and wrote you a sob letter......but doesn't make up for the fact that they broke the law, and must now face the consequences.......just hate the idea of letting people off easy...seems to be a common theme in this nation lately with no responsibility. (Hopefully, your county/district does not have a judge like the ones you find up here in liberal land)
Only because of the way they entered your property, I would not settle with them. We've seen that sort of thing too often around these parts and these type of people just do not learn. Shaking hands and saying it's okay this time gets nothing accomplished other than strengthening their resolve. I say take it to the court.
Had they been poor and needy, I would perhaps say to be more lenient, but not with what they did. Right is right and wrong is wrong. People need to have accountability!
Jd out of curiosity where about are you located in East Ne? Not exact location though. I am curious as I am from NW Iowa, Sioux City area and find it odd that someone would go to such an extreme to cut wood. This area as absolutely no pressure for wood harvesting. Around my area all you have to do is mention you would like to find some fire wood and there a many farmers that would be happy to let me cut trees down for their benefit asa well as mine.
I also would echo what others have said keep criminal charges against them. I would in no way let this go off easy. You are unfortunately from what you describe in a tight spot even though you are in the right you need to make it stick that way. After this couple gets running around and this story expands to their circle of friends you can bet they are going to say sue them. They will find anyway possible to blame you they will and there will be at least three attorneys waiting to defend them.
We are just south of Omaha, As for finding wood its not all that hard to find around here if you look, but i have to say it is getting harder, more and more farmers dont like poeple around that much any more, its getting hard to trust anyone. To many things are getting stolen and people getting hurt. Last summer my 12 yr olds motorcycle and 3 yr olds electric jeep, along with some other stuff, was stolen from the shed, we had 6 big bales of hay taken. How can someone steal from children, its not like just anyone can go out and replace it the next day, OK 1800 on a motorcycle, 500 on the jeep, i can't so then you have to tell your children that there christmas presents is gone and you don't know when your getting it back. Then comes the WHY. **** i can't go there cause i'll F****N lose it, and i promised my wife i wouldn't, i can't break that one cause i have to sleep with her. I just think town is getting closer so it might be time to move farther away.
I'm glad to hear you got an apology. A truly sincere apology goes a long way with me.
an apology does go a long way with me 2. Its going on 2 weeks and from what i'm gathering around here is if we go to court all there going to get is a slap on the hand on a fine, i don't think thats going to bother someone that has money. Now if i put them hands to work doing something they don't like, insted of buming around on family money all day, i might get a little more satisfaction out of it. The kids(hes in his 20's) father contacted me this weekend and i think hes in more trouble with him then the law. I told him what i would like to do and he liked my plan he thought it would make him respect what he has alittle more, and respect what other people have to go though to get what they have. Being on a farm with trees cattle and horses i always have some pretty clean jobs to do :smirk:
And now i know who his father is and im shocked i know that when he told me his son will be here i know he will. He also told me to have his son help with the worst jobs out here.
What if he gets hurt doing your "punishment work" and then sues for that. Let the charges ride and forget about it.
This is your opportunity to show some Mercy, I bet someone has shown you some in the past. In fact, if it was me, I might go cut up the tree and take it to their house and sit and have a cup of coffee with them. What a chance to make a difference in somebodies lives. Don't miss this.
yup! what Blah Ho Vick said.
That is a VERY valid point, and I hope the op certainly considers what could happen. I am with sticking to the charges even if it only nets them a slap on the hand and a fine.
UPDATE for you that was wondering. We did end up going to court, made a deal that way it was court ordered to make sure they kept there end, and if they get hurt im not reliable, covering my butt that way also, the charges were droped as long as they agreed to and carried out my tems and if they dont do it then the charges will come back in then there lookin at jail time. They are not doing any work here at the farm (Sorry guys). I took them to a local low income nursing home for the elderly that my wife helps out at. The judge thought it was a great idea buy the way. I let them meet and get to know all the people there and then i told them they will be putting in a outside sitting area with benches, flowers and other landscaping so it will be a park like setting. Then after we left they volunteered to pay for all the materials out of there pocket and they would continue untill all of the work was done no matter how long it takes.
As for not working here at the farm i figured there was others that could benifit from this more then i would so why not give them something to enjoy that they have not been able to do for a long time. Im more then able to do my work around here myself. And who knows maybe getting to know these folks in the home might give them a different outlook on things, well at least i can hope.
It sounds to me like they have genuinely changed and are sincerely sorry:
That's the kind of attitude that shows a good heart to grace shown. I think the outcome you have arrived at is much better for everyone than jail time.
And that just shows a good heart I reckon you've done the best thing in these circumstances. I'd still be interested to see the final outcome, assuming it's completed satisfactorily.
Thanks for the update. I think you make an excellent victim of crime. :-/ Good job.